Locals also bracing for Hurricane Patricia - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Locals also bracing for Hurricane Patricia

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As Patricia, the strongest hurricane on record in the western hemisphere, spins toward the west coast of Mexico on Friday, back home in the Tennessee Valley people worry about the inevitable destruction.

"I'm sure anything like this, when it's supposed to be the storm of the century, there's going to be a little more than the average worry," says Tim Butler.

His brother, Ron, is on a vacation in Puerto Vallarta. They were driven to an evacuation shelter but Butler hasn't from from them since early Friday afternoon.

"We have no idea what the structure is like," says Butler. "Don't know if it's above ground or underground or if it's designed to be hurricane proof."

Cheryl Turner attends Signal Crest United Methodist Church which works with orphanages near the area about to be hit, including the town of Colima. She's been trying to check on staff and the children even though no local church members are currently there. The fierce winds will do a lot of damage.

"What they're worried about are trees coming coming through the buildings, coming through the windows," says Turner.

She says they're in a fairly remote area with little internet access. This is what scares her the most.

"They don't have access to minute-by-minute services that we do," explains Turner. "Maybe they don't have any idea what's coming."

Everyone at the homes are like family to her.

"What I want to say to them is that they know how much we love them," adds Turner.

Meanwhile, Butler won't get much rest.

"Until we can talk to my brother and his wife directly, worry is our number one problem," says Butler. "Sleep is secondary."

Officials with the Southeast Tennessee Red Cross say because the storm isn't making landfall in the U.S. or a U.S territory, they have to wait for a call before sending a team to help in the aftermath. As soon as they get the call, they'll head to Mexico.

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